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Sensorless vector control

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Sensorless vector control


Motion System Design
Elisabeth Eitel
Fri, 2011-07-01 12:00

Demand for low-cost, robust motor drives has spurred increased use of sensorless vector control of
induction and BLDC motors in everything from consumer products to industrial applications, in
myriad sizes and power ratings.
Sensorless vector control, also known as field-oriented control, outputs performance comparable to
that of a motor drive using position/velocity feedback in turn decreasing drive-system cost.
Some applications require a compact design; others in corrosive, extremely hot, or otherwise hostile
environments necessitate that designs be free of additional wiring (for sensors or devices mounted on
the shafts and so on.) Sensorless vector control benefits designs in both of these situations.
This month's handy tips provided by Dayong Tong of Parker Hannifin Corp., Electromechanical
Automation Div., Rohnert Park, Calif. For more information, visit parkermotion.com.

Q&A
How does it work?
Control of electrical motors without position or velocity sensors usually utilizes one of three
methodologies: Constant volts per hertz control, open-loop flux-vector control, or sensorless flux-vector
control.
Volts-per-hertz control is only used for control of an ac induction motor. It is based on the principle that
to maintain constant magnetic flux in the motor, the ratio between terminal voltage magnitude and
applied frequency must remain roughly constant. The volts-per-hertz method works well in applications
with slowly varying and predictable load.
For better torque control, flux vector techniques were developed to control not only the magnitude of the
ac excitation, but also the orientation (or vector.) The principle of field orientation, upon which they're
based, states that if the current vector is controlled relative to the rotor flux vector, then the flux vector
magnitude and motor torque can be independently controlled.
Finally, sensorless vector control modulates the frequency, amplitude, and phase of the motor drive
voltage. The aim is to generate modulated three-phase voltage to control the three-phase stator current
which in turn controls the rotor flux vector and current independently.
Both open loop and sensorless flux vector control can be applied to induction and BLDC motors alike.
What are the control's subcomponents?

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Sensorless vector control


A typical block diagram of sensorless vector control includes two hardware blocks: Induction or BLDC
motor, and a three-phase bridge including rectifier, inverter, and acquisition and protection circuitry.

Sensorless vector control software blocks include:

Clarke forward transform block


Park forward and inverse transform block
Angle and speed estimator block
PI controller block
Field-weakening block
SVM block

What kind of output can be expected?


Example one:Application with very high inertia. Tuning with a 3-hp induction motor and ABM (Aries
Blok Module) drive (as shown on the opposite, top plot) achieves a target dynamic transition and steadystate performance. Inertia load is 0.6 kg-m2 and acceleration and deceleration are both set to 2.2 rps2.
Target speed is 15 rps.
Example two:Application requiring very high steady-state speed accuracy. After tuning, steady
speed is accurate (as shown on the opposite, bottom plot.)
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